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Microsoft's Outlook.com nets 1 million users in six hours

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One million people signed up for Outlook.com just hours after Microsoft introduced the new email client on Tuesday.

About six hours after @Outlook sent its first tweet -- announcing the launch of Outlook.com -- it posted: "One million people have signed up for a new, modern email experience at Outlook.com. Thanks!" The tweet also included a link to a line graph showing the email client's growth.

As my colleague Sal Rodriguez reported, Outlook.com is a personal version of its already widely used brand and is Microsoft's latest stab at an email service. It essentially replaces Hotmail as the company's primary email service.

A preview of the service can be found here.

Microsoft said Tuesday that it "realized that we needed to take a bold step, break from the past and build you a brand new service from the ground up." Outlook.com is a "modern email designed for the next billion mailboxes."

Outlook.com will let users sync their accounts with various social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as Skype sometime soon.

"In the Outlook.com inbox, your personal email comes alive with photos of your friends, recent status updates and tweets that your friend has shared with you, the ability to chat and video call," Microsoft said.

The new service is also cloud-based and will sync users' email, contacts and calendar across various devices. This is nothing new, but at least Microsoft is keeping pace.

The Redmond, Wash., company is also addressing the issue of cluttered inboxes by sorting messages depending on who they're from; it also promises less spam and says it works on your PC, Mac, phone and tablet. Outlook.com also includes free Office Web apps including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, so users can open and edit attachments right from their inbox.

The service is free and Microsoft says it has "virtually unlimited storage." The service, it said, features "a fresh, clean design that's intuitive to use." And Microsoft says Outlook is private -- "you're in control of your data, and your personal conversations aren't used for ads.

Hotmail users can easily launch the new client by going into their options menu and clicking "Upgrade," according to Microsoft. They can also acquire a new "@outlook.com" email address if they wish.

Users of other email clients, including Gmail and Yahoo, can also use Outlook.com to manage their emails. Microsoft says those users can also add an "@outlook.com" email.

"This will let you use both services for now, but we think that over time, most people will prefer Outlook.com," the company said.

MSFT data by YCharts

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